Sunday, March 29, 2015

Loveland getting national attention for its creative placemaking projects

Chris poses with my new car as train rumbles by the Loveland Feed & Grain Building, which is being transformed into the Art @ The Feed and Grain facility. You can't see it in this pic but the new ArtsSpace live/work spaces for artists are being built on the other side of the Feed and Grain.  
SF Gate in San Francisco carried a neat article Saturday about the ArtSpace project in Loveland, located an hour south of Cheyenne on I-25. Loveland is a one-time farming community and jumping-off point to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The city is known for two things: it amazing array of outdoor sculpture and its dueling summer sculpture shows; Valentine's Day postal cancellations (LOVE-land -- get it?). Loveland once was home to my aunt and grandfather. Back in the eighties, my grandfather used to grabbed his cane and tottered over to the old downtown coffee shop where he used to entertain the waitresses with old war stories. My aunt was a bit concerned that Grandpa would get run over on his morning walks. But Loveland was pretty sleepy back then. As long as he didn't wander over to Eisenhower Blvd./U.S. Hwy. 34, where a steady stream of behemoth motor homes made a beeline for the national park. Grandpa lived to a ripe old age, still spinning his tales to anyone who would listen at the Denver V.A. Hospital.

Thirty years later, Loveland is a different place. The old feed and grain building along the railroad tracks is being renovated into an arts center. Next door, live-work spaces for 30 artists are under construction. The projects are being sponsored by ArtSpace of Minneapolis, the country's lone non-profit property developer. Read more about it here and here. Cheyenne is also trying to get an ArtSpace project off the ground. Read about it here -- and, if you live within 50 miles of Cheyenne, take the survey.

Chris and I visited downtown Loveland two Saturdays ago. We were on our way back from a car-buying trip to Denver. Viewed the nifty ArtSpace project on the edge of a revitalizing downtown. We dropped in on the Loveland Creatorspace on the other side of the tracks from the feed and grain. Place was humming with young people working Cad-Cam computers and 3-D printers. A machinist was making parts for some gizmo. A guy my age tutored students. Such a neat place. Creativity comes in so many forms.

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